Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The fire under the bonnet, IT staffing

Question: What happens when you get in hungry associates, train them with all the requisite tools, give them loads of responsibility in the work they do and give them an opportunity to make money too?
Answer: You get Indias IT services sector. (This piece in Financial Express talks about the rookies in Indias IT sector)

In Indias IT services sector the average age of employees is about 28 or so. Most associates with 3 years of experience would have managed atleast 1 team during their tenure. A little more experience than that and you will find project managers. Add a year or two and you have account managers, people who manage entire client accounts in the US, running accounts that gain the company a few million dollars each year and then some.

In Indias services sector, this is the model that works. Get hungry best in class employees, set them free on the job (almost). Critics abound on the kind of work that gets done in Indias IT sector and are not entirely unfounded, but the amount of exposure and empowerment an associate gets is perhaps unheard of in many other industries.

Ask any recruiter in the IT industry and she will tell you that every candidate wants more exposure and responsibility. Nobody wants a run of the mill job that has a whiff of monotony (and the IT industry has many such jobs too). A person who would have emigrated to US (in the coding business), say 7 years ago, would today continue to work on the same application that he started on (give or take a few), but he would, on an average remain an individual contributor fixing bugs. Sure growth happens there, but it is nothing like the turbocharged growth here in India.

In India a person who has spent the last 7 years in the Indian IT industry would be nothing short of a project manager. He would have handled teams, clients across geographies, would be familiar with business, domain and a fair amount of technology too.

This is the maturity of the Indian technology sector which is something that is not perceivable at first glance. It is these guys who can, if they apply their minds to it, come up with killer applications and newer concepts. Imagine a company which has thousands of such employees.

And now see what is the potential that these Infosyses, TCSes and Wipros hold under their bonnet!

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